In 2014, the Ministry of Education published a notice stipulating that examining bodies should provide the necessary assistance and equipment to enable blind and visually impaired students to take the exam.
The following year, the ministry and the China Disabled Persons' Federation issued a guideline that required examining bodies nationwide to offer "reasonable" assistance to students with disabilities taking the test, according to their needs.
For example, blind and visually impaired students should be provided with exam papers in Braille or bearing large-print characters, while those with hearing disabilities are allowed to use hearing aids and can be exempted from the aural section of English exams providing they obtain permission.
Those with physical disabilities can use wheelchairs and crutches, and the duration of the tests, which usually last two or two and a half hours, can be extended if students have difficulty writing.
According to the federation, 5,626 students applied for assistance of some sort during last year's gaokao.
Experts have welcomed the rulings, saying they will better serve the needs of students with disabilities, but they also called for more assistance tailored to meet students' varied and specific needs.
Han Ying, a 23-year-old from Guangzhou, Guangdong province, was born with cerebral palsy and is also visually impaired. In 2015, she spent the night before the gaokao practicing filling in the small boxes on multiple choice papers.
"The tiny boxes on the answer sheet looked like ants to me, so in addition to making sure I learned all the academic points, the other thing I did frequently was to fill in as many answer sheets as possible, so I would have enough time during the exam," she said.